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Introduction: pharmacology 1

Watch Dan (physiology and pharmacology educator for this course) provide a brief summary of how the body works.
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Hi. My name is Dan Malone. And I’ll be taking you through the pharmacology part of this course. Pharmacology is the science of how medicines work in the body. The information in this introductory video is a very broad summary of how the body works, so this might be useful if you don’t have a background in science.
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The human body is a complex collection of systems that all work together. There’s the skeletal system which supports the body and allows movement. The digestive system converts food into energy and eliminates waste. The circulatory system, the superhighway of the body, transports materials around the body. The nervous system coordinates bodily functions by releasing electrical signals and substances called neurotransmitters.
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Each of these systems has a number of organs. For example, the digestive system consists of the stomach, the intestines, the liver, and the pancreas.
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Each of these over this consists billions of separate cells.
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Generally, cells have many things in common, such as a cell membrane on the outside, organelles switch have varying functions such as producing or moving substances, and a nucleus which contains the DNA.
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But cells also have some differences depending on the role that they play. For example, liver cells differ greatly from skin cells which deferred again from nerve and fat cells.
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All the organs in the body can work together because the cells communicate with each other to regulate body functions. This intercellular communication is done by electrical signals and chemical messengers. Examples of chemical messengers include neurotransmitters that are released from neurons, or nerve cells, following an electrical signal and hormones that are released from one cell and travel in the blood to another cell to then have an effect.
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So later, you will see how medicines affect these different systems, organs, and cells in the body.

Watch Dan (physiology and pharmacology educator for this course) provide a brief summary of how the body works.

Study tips

Getting the most out of the videos

  • You can watch the videos more than once. Some learners like to watch a video first without taking any notes, and just listen carefully, then watch again and take notes.
  • Taking notes is important: they help you remember key points, deepen your learning, and are a resource you can keep for future reference.
  • Being active when you take notes is most effective. Writing notes by hand is better than typing, and typing is better than simply highlighting the transcript.
  • Of course, typing notes on your computer allows you to cut and paste content and references from inside and outside the course – including useful comments from other learners.
  • Note-taking can also be visual. Think about how a mind-maps can help you to make connections between ideas. A table can be a very efficient way of summarising key information.
  • Think about how to organise your notes so that they are easy to find and re-use at a later date. Your notes can help you to revise for the test at the end of the course. Use a clear labelling system – and the FutureLearn Step numbers make this easy.

Ask other learners for help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if there is something you don’t understand. The chances are that one of your fellow learners will be able to help you.

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The Science of Medicines

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